Kramer Body Shapes

It seems like all of us Kramer nuts generally argue over the differences in body shapes used. Additionally, it always seems like some poor soul on ebay is getting screwed around by buying what they think is an actual Baretta body, but turns out to be a Focus or Striker. I've compiled the pictures and animation below to show off the differences in the body shapes. Disclaimer: These drawings in the animation were traced exact to pictures I had of actual Kramer bodies. They are VERY close to what I've actually seen when I've laid the bodies down on top of each other to compare.

Kramer Body Shapes

Floyd Rose Sig.
Voyager Round Pts.
Vanguard Round Pts.
Horn Scoop Baretta
Tele (SC3)
Vanguard Pointed
Voyager Pointed
Dinky Soloist
Large Body Soloist
Archtop Stagemaster
Focus 2000
Elliot Easton
Paul Dean

Body Woods Used

Alder - Very common wood for Kramers, medium weight, medium brightness and low end.
Maple - Heavy, very bright. Used with Barettas, Pacers, Voyagers, Vanguards and more.
Mahogany - Very low end and mid-range wood type. Used on Stagemasters, Paul Deans, Nightswans, and more.
Mahogany with maple top - Used on the Liberty, Pacer SC3, and Pacer DC3
Poplar - Used on Pacers, Voyagers, Vanguards, Barettas and more. Has "green" coloration when viewed with no finish. Thought of as a "cheaper" wood among instrument makers, but not a horrible wood type.
Basswood - Used on many overseas Kramers, it is thought that Basswood was not used on American Series models.
Plywood or Laminate - Used exclusively on cheaper overseas models except for the Focus and Fx00 series.

Body Animation Showing Shapes
Frame Descriptions

Frame 1 - 1983/1984 Baretta body RED
Frame 2 - 1985-89 Baretta I body BLUE
Frame 3 - 1985/1989 body layered on 1985-89
Frame 4 - Overseas Focus body YELLOW
Frame 5 - Focus body layered over both Baretta bodies
Frame 6 - Striker Body GREEN
Frame 7 - Striker body layered over all bodies.

Baretta/Pacer Bodies - Most Baretta and Pacer bodies resemble these three shapes. Even though the pictures depict Barettas below, starting at 1983, most Pacers and Barettas utilized the same body shapes. The 1983/84 body is more round towards the bottom than the 85-89's. Additionally, the body contours on the 83/84's are more sharp, and not as rounded. That is, if you were to rest your arm on the arm cut "round-over" area, the round portion is more sharp. Another example is the tummy cut. The tummy cut round over has a much sharper transition between the sanded area and the flat area. Additionally, the 85-89 bodies are more "flat" at the bottom of the shape from a top view. The 1984's tend to be a bit more rounded, sort of like the Pacer Special bodies like Edward Van Halen used on his 5150 guitar. Additionally, all Baretta bodies feature the "canon" input jack with no jack plate compared to overseas Focus models. One other thing to note is that all bodies through part of 1986 had a truss rod notch at the neck joint, even though Kramer moved to a "top of the neck" trussrod adjustment in the 1985 time frame. Additionally, the recessed cavity bodies came into play around 1987 in the E11000 to E12000 serial number range.

1983/84 Baretta Body
Sharper body contours
Smaller Profile (compared to 85)
Rounded bottom
Flat mount tremolo route
Truss Rod notch at neck joint
1985-1987 Baretta Body
Rounded, smooth body contours
Wider bottom (left to right in picture)
More "flat" bottom edge
Flat mount tremolo route
Truss Rod notch at neck joint
1988-1989 Baretta Body
Rounded, smooth body contours
Fret Access contour on lower horn
More "flat" bottom edge
Recessed mount tremolo route
Truss Rod notch at neck joint

Baretta / Pacer Additional Body Characteristics
The Floyd holes have a smaller cutout towards the bottom on the hole to allow for "more improved" floating than that of the 1984 bodies. However, these can still be setup for the Floyd to be flush mounted. Focus bodies are perfect rectangles, like the 1983/84 Baretta bodies.
Kramer introduced a form of a "tremblock" around the 1987 time frame. The device consists of a piece of metal that the bottom of the Floyd pairs up with in order to keep pull-backs from occurring with the Floyd. Additionally, the Floyd can be locked so that it has no movement at all with this device (shown here without trem-springs and Floyd installed).
In most cases, the canon jack was used on all Pacer and Baretta bodies (I can at least confirm this on the 84's and up). If you see a body on ebay that has a plate mounted jack, it is most likely an overseas model. There are some instances where you will see the jackplate on American bodies, but usually its because of a conversion job.
The truss rod notch was a feature present prior to 1984, but was carried on through 84 and part of 85. Even Barettas that shipped with the truss rod adjustment at the headstock shipped with these bodies in 1985, and changed sometime around this time frame. as well. Note: I have yet to be able to get an allen wrench or screwdriver in one of these notches for adjustment, they are rather useless IMO.

Factory Body Modifications for Assembly Fit
Sometimes body modications were necessary at the factory in order to install hardware, pickups, or tremolos. Many bodies I've seen have modifications made after painting. So, if you're Kramer appears to have wood exposed in tremolo, pickup, or control cavities, don't always assume this is an aftermarket modification. I asked Steve Z, a former Kramer employee, about these modifications. Here was his response:

From Steve Z, former Kramer Employee
"I was working at Kramer when FR's were being installed. It wasn't really a Sports (maker of Kramer bodies from 1981-1985) problem as much as a variable finish thickness problem. The only way to make sure it cleared was to cut the finish right down to the wood but not so much that you could see it when the bridge was in the normal position. Sometimes the wood needed to be cleared out. The pocket needed to be a little bigger near the arm for the Floyds. Eventually Sports would get revised templates and ship new bodies that didn't need much tweaking, but we had to use up the bodies that were in house first. The same thing with the neck pockets and sometimes the PU pockets where the screws would hit the body."

Focus Bodies
The Focus bodies tend to be more slender, and this is generally noticeable without having to compare directly from the animation above. While the shape is different, its still not a bad body for what you might pay on ebay. These bodies are generally made of Alder, and have just as good of a tone as an American Series Baretta Alder body. Focus bodies also seem to have the bridge and pickup just a tad bit higher towards the neck pocket (from a top view) than that of the Baretta bodies. Most Focus bodies also use a jack plate as opposed to the canon jack like in the Barettas and Pacers. This is a dead giveaway on ebay if you see a body with a jackplate, its not a Baretta or Pacer. Tonally, they sound great.

1985-1988 Focus Body

Rounded, smooth body contours
Slender bottom (left to right in picture)
More "flat" bottom edge
Flat mount tremolo route (although some had recessed routes, rare)
Most have Truss Rod notch at neck joint
Body is taller (from top to bottom in picture)
Bridge and pickups sit more towards the neck pocket than Barettas.

Striker Bodies - BEWARE! Striker bodies are plywood, and are easily distinguishable by the lower horn (right most in picture) kicking out and to the right more than Focus and Baretta bodies. They are smaller scale, and more rounded at the bottom as well. Since they are plywood, these bodies tend to be VERY HEAVY. Buyer beware, you may see these on ebay as Baretta bodies, or even installed with Baretta parts.

1987 Striker Body

More rounded at bottom of guitar body
Slender bottom (left to right in picture)
Right-most horn "kicks out" more than Baretta/Pacer/Focus bodies.
Flat mount tremolo route (later models had recessed)
Body is smaller than Baretta/Pacer/Focus bodies
Body made of plywood, very heavy.
Rounded bottom from top view compared to Focus bodies.

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